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New York Divorce Filings Rise With Option of No-Fault Separations

Divorce in New York can be a painful experience, but with New York’s law change that no longer requires couples who want to split to prove why, legal separations have increased, the New York Post reports.

The newspaper reports that divorce filings are up 12 percent since last October, when the state adopted no-fault separations, which allow couples to split without having to prove why. There were 37,015 divorce filings statewide from October 2010 through May, compared to 33,160 in the same time frame a year ago.
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Under New York’s former system, husbands and wives had to prove grounds for dissolving the marriage by providing embarrassing — and often false — testimony.

“The Ten Commandments say, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ ” Woody Allen once quipped. “But New York state says you have to.”

Attorneys believe the process is now much easier and less expensive to couples because attorneys no longer have to spend time deciding with clients which option to choose for why the marriage should be dissolved — whether adultery, cruelty or refusal of sex for more than a year — was to blame for the breakup.

Along with the rule change that no longer requires a reason for the split, the state put into effect a rule in October that the wealthier spouse pay the attorneys fees. That has led to an increase in filings as well.

According to statistics by the New York State Department of Health, divorces overall statewide were on a steep decline in the last five years leading up to 2009, the most recent statistics available:

2009: 50,310 2008: 53,166 2007: 55,243 2006: 59,928 2005: 59,479
Most people would likely attribute those statistics to the economy. Many people were forced to live together because of financial reasons in order to continue paying rent and keeping up with the rising cost of living expenses.

Divorce can be an emotional process and can leave emotional scars and create baggage that can take years to resolve. It’s an already difficult decision often because of years invested with another person.

Issues relating to child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets and debts and how to avoid costly taxes in a divorce are all factors that an experienced Great Neck divorce lawyer will be able to sort out.

The law change, if it makes the divorce process easier, will be beneficial to those couples who no longer believe their marriage works. Not having to bring up years-old, personal secrets about their lives is less intrusive. While some believe that divorce is far too easy and people aren’t willing to stick it out to see if it works, there are often examples of times when a couple simply must break up, whether because of abuse, infidelity, dishonesty or other reasons.

A New York City divorce attorney can work to eliminate the emotion, protect the future financial stability of the client and see that the process is as painless as possible for those going through the split.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides criminal defense in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

Additional Resources:

Divorce filings in NY up 12 percent since adoption of no-fault separations, by Jeremy Olshan, New York Post